April 29: Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
On my way home from the crazy design/pirate conference, I spent 24 hours in Oklahoma City with one of my college roommates, Dan Walmer. Dan flew up from Houston and we met for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. We had just enough time to pick up our race packets, grab some dinner, and then stay up too late talking. Dan and I didn't really know each other until our senior year at Wheaton, but hit it off right away. We realized how much we had in common, and our common interests now include marathons.
This was the third marathon Dan and I have done together in the last 15 months, and it was certainly a memorable one. We arrived at the gear check area shortly after 5am, enjoyed the 5:30am prayer service which takes place in the dark at the OKC memorial, and the 168 seconds of silence (one second for each victim of the bombing) before the start were especially poignant.
The race started at 6:30am (early, even for a marathon) which was a good thing because by the time we finished later that morning the temperature had already risen to over 80F. We both had good times, but even better than that, we had a good time.
Dan finishing the marathon.
The memorial is an amazing experience.
Many runners run in memory of friends and family and leave their medals and race numbers on the chairs in the memorial that recognize each of the 168 victims.
There's also a memory wall at the memorial where people leave cards, flowers, race numbers, photos, and other memorable items.